The 2021 CERIC Annual Report, with a theme of “Resilience and Reimagining,” reflects on a year that brought a sense of renewed hope that the colossal global disruptions caused by the pandemic were in some ways behind us. While it sometimes felt like we were taking two steps forward and one step back, it was the feeling that we were moving forward nonetheless that defined the year.

We started 2021 by hosting our first-ever virtual Cannexus conference, which drew an incredible response. As Board Chair André Raymond and Executive Director Riz Ibrahim outline in their Leadership Message, if there was any time that we could embrace the idea of a virtual community, this was it. The economic uncertainties that underpinned the year prior still remained and we continued to offer compelling rates to encourage more participation from groups and students. We also continued to leverage some of our new international partners to offer a set of globally focused sessions at the conference.

As we progressed through the year, there was a sense that the tide had turned and we could consider in-person events. In the end, our commitment to maintaining a high-calibre and broadly accessible conference led us to forego an in-person gathering in favour of planning a second virtual conference in 2022.

It was important to have a feeling of continuity amid these changes: we continued to develop a survey of Canadian businesses, offer webinars, publish books and fund projects. We translated one of our resources into multiple languages, reflecting an internationalization of interest in our work.

Internally, we started to define the organizational values we felt were needed to guide us toward the fulfilment of our dual mandates of “Promoting career development as a priority for the public good” and “Building career development knowledge, mindsets and competencies.” We also started to do work around defining and developing our equity, diversity and inclusion priorities.

Highlights for CERIC that promote career development for public good:

  • Published a new edition of our popular Playbook, Retain and Gain: Career Management for the Public Sector, to support public sector employers in developing an inclusive, agile and equipped workforce
  • Launched a Careers and Canadians discussion series, starting with guest former Saskatchewan Deputy Minister Alastair MacFadden, to explore the value of connecting careers thinking to the development, delivery and measurement of public goods and services
  • Surveyed 501 Canadian employers with Environics Research Institute to update and expand understanding of the state of career development in the Canadian workplace
  • Published the “Career Pivots” issue of CERIC’s Careering magazine, which highlighted how, with the support of career education and career professionals, Canadians can develop the change-ready mindset needed to thrive
  • Updated CERIC’s funding priorities to include career mindsets as a new key funding priority area
  • Worked with the media to raise the profile of career development, including articles published in Policy Options and Canadian HR Reporter and an interview on CBC Radio
  • Engaged with many organizations around shared advocacy goals, systems change and joint learning, including Future Skills Centre, the Institute of Public Administration of Canada, the Century Initiative, the Labour Market Information Council and the OECD

Key achievements for CERIC that build career development knowledge:

In addition to these highlights, as well as inclusion of financial statements, the CERIC 2021 Annual Report also includes an acknowledgement of CERIC staff this past year as well as a special thank you to the CERIC Board and Advisory Committee volunteers who helped us navigate these challenging times and to our funder, The Counselling Foundation of Canada, for its unwavering support.